Archive | March 23rd, 2020

Bahu Trust-Coronavirus Support

The Bahu Trust are offering free food packs and sanitary products to people within the B11 and B12 areas. Please pass on this information to anyone who meets the requirements on the flyer, this include the elderly and people who are self-isolating. Contact number is 0121 440 4096.

For more information please see the attached file.

Please stay safe.

The Sparkbrook Neighbourhood Team

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www.birminghamworker.org

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5 facts behind America’s high incarceration rate

What the criminal justice system costs you ?

By Drew Kann,

(CNN)Year after year, the United States beats out much larger countries — India, China — and more totalitarian ones –Russia and the Philippines — for the distinction of having the highest incarceration rate in the world.According to a 2018 report from the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS), nearly 2.2 million adults were held in America’s prisons and jails at the end of 2016. That means for every 100,000 people residing in the United States, approximately 655 of them were behind bars.If the US prison population were a city, it would be among the country’s 10 largest. More people are behind bars in America than there are living in major cities such as Philadelphia or Dallas.

If America’s prison and jail population were a city, it would be among the country’s largest.

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  • New York
  • Los Angeles
  • Chicago
  • Houston
  • US prison and jail population
  • Phoenix
  • Philadelphia
  • San Antonio
  • San Diego
  • Dallas

Source: US Census BureauBureau of Justice Statistics

Graphic: Drew Kann and Sean O’Key/CNN

But after decades of explosive growth, there are signs that the country is turning the corner on mass incarceration.The prison population decreased in 2016 for the third straight year, and prison reform, in general, is one of the rare issues with bipartisan support on Capitol Hill and in the White House.On the other hand, approximately $80 billion is still spent each year on corrections facilities alone, according to a Prison Policy Initiative report, dwarfing the $68 billion discretionary budget of the Department of Education.

Clearly, this issue is complicated.To better understand who the system impacts, it requires looking beyond the big numbers. Here are five key facts that bring the scope of the criminal justice system into focus.

Most inmates are held in state prisons and local jails — not federal prisons.

american jail clip 1_00011417

One missed payment put him back behind bars 01:29Prison reform solutions often focus on the federal government, but the vast majority of incarcerated people are held in facilities controlled by state and local governments, according to the Prison Policy Initiative.The nonpartisan think tank found that more than 1.3 million people are held in state prisons, while more than 600,000 people behind bars are in one of the country’s 3,000+ local jails.These jails — sometimes dubbed the “front door” of the criminal justice system — often hold people who haven’t yet been convicted of a crime.

In many cities and states, money often decides who stays in jail and who gets out.

american jail clip 3_00000000

She’s in jail for 6 months over $545 01:21The BJS reports that in 2016, nearly two-thirds of all inmates in local jails were not convicted.So why were they behind bars?Many who are arrested and go to jail are able to get out quickly by simply posting bail. But those who can’t afford it are essentially trapped — they either sit in jail until the court takes action, or work with a bail bond agent to secure their freedom (with the latter option often saddling them with debt).

Advocates will quickly point out how this system puts the poor at a huge disadvantage. Stuck in jail because they can’t afford to pay bail, inmates are unable to work or support their families, making them particularly susceptible to the spiral of debt and incarceration.The bail bond business, as with others tied to the criminal justice system, is extremely lucrative, bringing in more than $2 billion in profit each year, according to a 2017 report by nonprofit civil rights advocacy group Color of Change and the ACLU’s Campaign for Smart Justice.

The ‘war on drugs’ isn’t solely to blame for mass incarceration.

Nearly half of all inmates in federal prisons are held on drug charges, but drug offenders make up a smaller proportion of the population in state prisons and jails.

Nearly half of all inmates in federal prisons are held on drug charges, but drug offenders make up a smaller proportion of the population in state prisons and jails.Some have said that the “war on drugs” is responsible for America’s massive prison and jail populations.And while this rings true in many federal prisons — where nearly half of all inmates are locked up for drug charges, often serving lengthy sentences — it’s a different story in state prisons and local jails.In these facilities, where the vast majority of incarcerated people are housed, Prison Policy Initiative says those held for drug offenses are a much smaller proportion of the overall population.But this still oversimplifies the relationship between drugs and mass incarceration.For one, there is huge variation from state-to-state in how drug policies are enforced, according to a Pew analysis. States like Louisiana and Oklahoma, for instance, lock up drug offenders at rates far exceeding most others.Though drugs may not be the primary reason most people are in state and local prisons, law enforcement agencies around the country are still making drug arrests in huge numbers.

In 2016, drug arrests actually increased about 10% from the previous year to more than 1.25 million, according to the FBI’s Uniform Crime Report.

Once you’re in the criminal justice system, it’s often difficult to get out.

Corde, who is featured in CNN Films 'American Jail,' spent time in jail for a DUI. After he was released, he was rearrested for missing one payment.

Corde, who is featured in CNN Films ‘American Jail,’ spent time in jail for a DUI. After he was released, he was rearrested for missing one payment.For some, just one arrest is enough to get caught up in the system.There have been several studies on recidivism, but one of the most extensive was released in 2016 by the United States Sentencing Commission (USSC), which tracked more than 25,000 federal offenders over an eight-year period.Officials reported that nearly half of those monitored were rearrested for a new crime or for a violation of supervision conditions. And for about half, it took less than two years for them to run afoul of the law again.Other studies have found correlations between the length of a person’s rap sheet and the likelihood of recidivism.A 2017 USSC study showed that offenders without any previous contact with the criminal justice system had an 11.7 percent lower recidivism rate than those with at least some prior contact with law enforcement.

Minorities are still overrepresented in the prison population, but racial and ethnic gaps are shrinking.

African Americans still make up a disproportionate amount of those behind bars.

African Americans still make up a disproportionate amount of those behind bars.It has been a defining characteristic of the criminal justice system for years, and it’s still the case today: compared to the racial makeup of the overall US population, African-Americans continue to make up a disproportionate amount of the prison population. (Nonprofit organizations such as The Vera Institute have written extensively about this issue.)Though African-Americans comprise only about 12% of the total US population, they represent 33 percent of the federal and state prison population. That’s compared to whites, who constitute 64% of American adults but just 30% of those behind bars, according to a Pew Research analysis of Bureau of Justice Statistics data.But as the overall incarcerated population has slowly retreated from its peak in 2009, a shift is happening in American prisons: the disparity between the number of African-Americans and whites locked up is shrinking.Between 2009 and 2016, Pew’s analysis shows the African-American prison population fell 17%, exceeding the 10% drop in the number of whites behind bars. The Hispanic population was virtually unchanged over the same period.There are a number of ideas about what’s behind this closing gap, from stiffer law enforcement in rural, predominately white areas, to the scourge of opioids and heroin, which have hit white communities hardest.

Posted in USA0 Comments

Doctors, Healthcare Workers: Hospitalized With COVID-19

By Carol Duff, MSN, BA, RN 

Health Editor’s Note: It is no surprise that we are now seeing COVID-19 infections in doctors and healthcare workers.  These are the people who are near many infective people during their shifts while the do their jobs, taking care of sick people.  They cannot work from home.  The nature of their job means they cannot adhere to social/physical distancing. If there is a “front line” for COVID-19, the nurses, doctors, healthcare workers, hospital maintenance personnel, and all who care for the ill are on the front line and deserve our heart felt thanks for continuing to do their jobs despite the hazards they endure…..Carol

Clinicians’ COVID-19 Front-Line Fears; Healthcare Worker Hospitalizations Begin

by Kristina Fiore, Director of Enterprise & Investigative Reporting, MedPage Today

Welcome to the latest edition of Investigative Roundup, highlighting some of the best investigative reporting on healthcare each week.

Clinicians’ COVID-19 Front-Line Fears

The anxiety felt by healthcare workers on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic is unlike anything most have experienced in their careers, the New York Times reports.

“Now that we see front-line providers that are on ventilators, it is really driving it home,” Stephen Anderson, MD, who has been an emergency physician in suburban Seattle for 35 years, told the Times.

In emergency rooms across the country, doctors and nurses are suddenly wary of anyone walking in the door with a cough. It’s particularly stressful for these providers who have to deal with emergencies but may not know the infective status of the patient. ICU workers, on the other hand, know they’re exposed to the virus frequently.

All of that anxiety is compounded by the threat of shortages of personal protective equipment. Anderson said his hospital was down to a 2-day supply of surgical masks, which translated to one mask per shift. He has to remove it and clean it each time he takes it off and on.

“That may sound just like a nuisance, but when you’re potentially touching something that has the virus that could kill you on it, and you’re doing it 25 times a shift, it’s kind of nerve-racking,” he told the Times.

Docs, Other Workers Hospitalized with COVID-19

Their anxiety is justified as reports of healthcare workers being treated for coronavirus infection start to roll in.

The New York Times reports that two emergency physicians are in critical condition with coronavirus. One from EvergreenHealth Medical Center in Kirkland, Washington — where many of the Seattle-area COVID-19 cases are being treated — is in his 40s and is in critical but stable condition. The other, James Pruden, MD, of St. Joseph’s Regional Medical Center in Paterson New Jersey, is in isolation in intensive care. He’s in his 70s and from Teaneck, the town at the epicenter of New Jersey’s outbreak. Pruden led the hospital’s emergency preparedness team, and was admitted several days ago with upper respiratory problems.

Also in Teaneck, three of 11 patients at Holy Name Medical Center are hospital employees.

A 32-year-old emergency physician from the University of California San Francisco is self-quarantined at home with mild symptoms after testing positive for coronavirus. He went to a conference for ED physicians at a New York City hotel on the weekend of March 7 and 8, and felt unwell when he returned home a few days later.

Five staff members at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City have tested positive for the virus, along with three patients. Also, nine healthcare workers at Emory’s health system in Atlanta have also tested positive, according to CNN.

Seattle Lab Plays Role in Boosting Tests

A lab at the University of Washington School of Medicine played a key role in opening the door to wider coronavirus testing in the U.S., even though national efforts are still lagging, Kaiser Health News reports.

Keith Jerome, MD, PhD, and Alex Greninger, MD, PhD, of the virology lab in the South Lake Union neighborhood of Seattle, started working on a coronavirus test as soon as Chinese scientists published the genetic sequence of the virus in January.

“We knew from China, we knew from South Korea, that when this virus comes into your community, you could be running hundreds of tests a day,” Jerome told KHN. “No one lab has the capacity to do what was needed in Wuhan.”

At first, the CDC was the only facility in the country that was authorized to test for the virus, but it became backlogged as demand grew — and because there were flaws in the tests it sent to state and local labs.

While Greninger pressed FDA to ease requirements that prevented labs from testing sick patients, the team found a loophole that enabled them to start testing samples. On Feb. 28, their first test came back positive, confirming community spread. The next day, FDA granted a waiver to let private and academic labs start testing for coronavirus.

Soon thereafter, the lab was churning out tests, anticipating it will soon be able to do somewhere from 2,000 to 2,500 tests a day, eventually going up to 5,000 tests daily.

On a recent day, about 9% of tests came back positive: “It shows the virus is out there,” Jerome told KHN. “And there’s more than most people realize.”

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Detainees denied supplies to avoid coronavirus infection

By: Sammi Ibrahem,Sr

Wasfi Kabha

Kabha said the prisoners were asked to use their socks as safety masks by the Nazi Camp Gestapo in a blatant disregard for their lives.

Given the overcrowding in Nazi Camp cells and the absence of cleaning supplies at the prison canteens, Palestinian detainees are now more vulnerable in light of the coronavirus outbreak, he noted.

Kabha, an ex-detainee, said that most of the diseases affecting Palestinian prisoners inside the Nazi Camp usually result from the lack of health care and hygiene supplies. 

There is no periodic cleaning of the prisoners’ old and dirty rooms, let alone sterilization, he added.

The former minister said there are 1,000 detainees in the Nazi Camp with health problems, including 28 suffering from chronic diseases, which means they are at a higher risk to catch coronavirus.

He called on concerned human rights organizations locally and internationally to pressure the Israeli authorities to take all necessary preventive measures that would ensure the Palestinian prisoners’ safety during the coronavirus pandemic.

Posted in Palestine Affairs, ZIO-NAZI, Health, Human Rights0 Comments

Mayor: Trump Blocking Aid to New York CV19 ‘Hot Zone’- Where Most Infected are Jewish

Meet the Press@MeetThePress

WATCH: @NYCMayor says “if the president doesn’t act, people will die who could have lived otherwise.” #MTP #IfItsSunday

Mayor de Blasio: “If there are ventilators being produced anywhere in the country, we need to get them to New York … in the next 10 days.”1701:16 PM – Mar 22, 2020Twitter Ads info and privacy182 people are talking about this

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio tore into President Donald Trump over his administration’s response to the coronavirus pandemic, suggesting that the president is ignoring NYC as the nation’s biggest city sees a massive spike in COVID-19 cases. With over 8,000 reported cases in the city, de Blasio said on Sunday’s Meet the Press that while Trump is from New York, “he will not lift a finger to help his hometown.”

“I don’t get it,” the Mayor continued. “Right now, I have asked repeatedly for the military to be mobilized, for the Defense Production Act to be used to its fullest to get us things like ventilators… If the president doesn’t act, people will die who could have lived otherwise.”

Posted in USA, Health, Human Rights0 Comments

Lebanon: Military deploys troops,to contain coronavirus spread

By: Sammi Ibrahem,Sr

The number of coronavirus (COVID-19) cases in Lebanon has risen to 248, Sunday, after the Lebanese Health Ministry announced another infection earlier today.

In response to the outbreak of the coronavirus, the Lebanese military has been deployed to several parts of the country, including the capital city of Beirut,

The Lebanese Army’s ground and air troops have been seen conducting patrols across the country over the last few hours, with their personnel urging the country’s population to return to their homes until further notice.

Lebanese military choppers were filmed on Sunday calling on residents of Lebanon to head home in order to prevent the spread the virus: 

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Families of Palestinians in Saudi Zio-Wahhabi prisons call for their release

protest

“Today we renew our call on the Saudi authorities to release all Palestinian prisoners in Saudi Arabia. Most of them suffer from chronic diseases and they need medication on a regular basis. The lack of health care in the prisons threatens their lives,” they said in a joint press statement.

“In light of the intensified spread of coronavirus around the world, we ask the Saudi authorities to consider the release of these detainees in accordance with the Amnesty International’s directives,” they said.

Saudi Zio-Wahhabi regime is holding dozens of Palestinians in its jails who have been subjected to unjust trials over trumped up charges. Concern is growing among their families amid fears of the uncontrolled spread of coronavirus.

Posted in Palestine Affairs, ZIO-NAZI, Human Rights, Saudi Arabia0 Comments

Zionist puppet Ab-A$$ forces kidnap teacher, intimidate his children


By: Sammi Ibrahem,Sr

PA thugs

According to the detainee’s family, teacher Asaad Kabbajeh was kidnaped from his home in the presence of his children, with no reason.

A family source said that officers from the Zionist puppet Ab-A$$ preventive security pretended to be employees from the health ministry in order to enter the house and arrest Kabbajeh.

The source added that they opened fire in the air after Kabbajeh’s children cried and screamed when they saw their father being subdued and taken away.

Dozens of Palestinian citizens are being detained illegally in Zionist Ab-a$$ jails because of their political affiliations or opinions.

Posted in Palestine Affairs, Human Rights0 Comments

Press censorship threatens Egypt’s ‘unfinished revolution’

The GroundTruth Project

By Reem Abdellatif

CAIRO — In the uncertain months after country’s revolution, Yosri Fouda emerged as one of the few Egyptian journalists who spoke truth to power. His popularity surged with his late night talk show, where he challenged Egypt’s ruling military council.

But government censorship has finally reached one of the country’s most respected independent TV channels, ONTV, where Fouda presented his daily show, “The Last Word.”

Yosri Fouda resigned “indefinitely” Friday night in protest of the current government’s continued effort to muzzle the press, leaving many independent journalists feeling that the revolution is back to square one. 

He said he made his decision after a show he planned about comments made by two Major Generals from the ruling military council was cancelled inexplicably.

“People did not sacrifice their lives, their eyes, and parts of their bodies for things to be the same, they sacrificed for the country’s freedom and dignity,” said Fouda, a former BBC and Al Jazeera correspondent, referring to the 18-day uprising.

Fouda’s decision drew widespread attention to the ongoing press crackdown, with a leading Muslim Brotherhood member, Jamal Tajuddin, and one of Egypt’s most revered writers and revolutionaries, Alaa Aswaany, condemning it.

“Is it not allowed for someone to criticize the decisions of the military council,” Aswaany tweeted. “Isn’t the [Supreme Council of the Armed Forces] satisfied with the cheap hypocrisy of the state media? The revolution needs another round.”

After the January 25 uprising, journalists had hoped that censorship laws would change; however they found that prior restraint remains a regular occurrence.

In September, the military enacted all articles of the country’s long-hated emergency law under which news organizations could be prosecuted for “goading hatred” towards the government or “disturbing social harmony.”

According to Gamal Eid, Executive Director of the Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI), under these articles, the state reserves the right to block newspaper articles from being published, stop the transmission of TV channels, or terminate the broadcasting of any program they deem “harmful” to the public.

“Keep in mind that the repeated phrases ‘public ethics’ or ‘public disorder’ are ambiguously worded so they are not easily measured upon,” Eid told GlobalPost.

“Stifling the press not only violates my right as an Egyptian citizen, it deprives me from gathering accurate reports, keeping me from doing my job as a lawyer and human rights activist.” 

Ziad Akl, a political analyst at the Ahram Center for Strategic Studies predicts that the military will not give up control of the public narrative without a fight.

“The longer the military will stay, the further they will crack down on media,” he said.

Youssef Sidhom, editor of a small Christian weekly Al-Watani, said he chooses to stay away from all stories that have to do with the military.

“We don’t question the military,” Sidhom told GlobalPost. “We don’t joke with the military.”

Hanan Fkry, a columnist who has worked at Al-Watani for 11 years says she has experienced this form of censorship firsthand when Sidhom refused to publish an Arabic column she wrote in response to the military council’s comments regarding the recent clashes outside Maspero, the state TV building.


Two days after the bloodiest clashes the country had seen since the winter uprising, Major General Ismail Mohamed Etman from the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, denied any wrongdoing, insisting that soldiers outside Maspero were not armed with live ammunition that evening. 

In her column, Fkry countered that argument, citing autopsy reports stating that protesters were shot and run over by armored vehicles. She also condemned state media coverage, which at one point during had asked “honorable” citizens to leave their homes and go “protect the army from protesters,” who were primarily Coptic.

“Their response to the clashes was infuriating; it failed to provide concrete answers,” Fkry said.

Last week Gamal Eid’s ANHRI filed a lawsuit against the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, Prime Minister Essam Sharaf and the Ministry of Information for what they cited as “the misinformation and incitement against the protesters by the state TV during the events at Maspero.”

Fkry was close to 25-year-old activist Mina Daniel, who died in the Maspero violence, and says her heart still aches from what happened that night.

“Mina was among the youth at the forefront of the January 25 revolution,” said Fkry.

“He was shot many times with rubber bullets during the revolution and survived, but now he has been killed at the hands of the army,” she said as her eyes filled with tears.

After Sidhom declined to publish her column, Fkry approached Al Anbaa Al Dawleya newspaper, a smaller publication that distributes about 20,000 copies only in Cairo. Abdo Maghraby, its editor in chief, agreed to publish Frky’s column.     

Fouda’s cancelled show was expected to provide viewers with a response and analysis to SCAF’s announcement, which have been mainly broadcast on state media and select satellite channels. 

Since the clashes, Maspero state TV, which houses the Ministry of Information in downtown Cairo, has been in a state of turmoil. 

Protesters have marched to ministry, demanding that the institution is “cleansed” from the minister, his team, as well as the editorial staff, who they see as “liars and remnants of the old regime.”

The recent media crackdown comes at a very critical time for Egypt, just a month before the country’s first parliamentary elections after Mubarak was forced out of power in February.

In October of 2010, while Mubarak was still president, there was a heavy crackdown on media just before parliamentary elections when the government shut down four satellite channels, and warned two others who had been “excessively” critical against the regime.

Hala Fahmy, a 20-year veteran of state TV recalled the heavy censorship under Mubarak’s police state, citing that the country is far from free.

“We had a revolution, but it is not finished,” Fahmy said.

Recently, in protest of what she calls skewed state TV coverage of the ongoing revolution, Fahmy, along with her colleagues leaked raw footage from the 18 days of Egypt’s uprising.

Fahmy, a revolutionary thinker known for her sharp statements, left her job on January 25 to join the youth in Tahrir Square to expose the state TV apparatus, who she said was corrupt for depriving Egyptians from knowing all sides of their society.

Although Fahmy is still considered an employee of the state, she says her bosses are “playing” her to keep her from working again.

“They think I’ll plot to overthrow the regime,” she said jokingly as she demonstrated outside Maspero with a small group of her colleagues. “They ask me to come up with ideas for program or take a camera and film my own idea, they are telling me — a veteran of 20 years on television — to start from scratch,” she said. “I play along and come up with ideas but they reject them, using the excuse that they don’t find them interesting.”  

“If the revolution is going to succeed, we have to start here,” Fahmy said, pointing to the state TV building which houses the Ministry of Information. “We have to have fair coverage that’s not manipulated for the military council’s taste and to achieve this, we need a channel for the revolution.”

The Ministry of Information refused to comment after several attempts from GlobalPost.

Posted in Middle East, Egypt0 Comments

Syria: Russian forces confront would-be terrorist in gun battle

Russian Naval Infantry equipped with ‘Ratnik’ combat system (Source: Alexey Filippov / Sputnik).

Russia’s National Anti-Terrorism Committee (NAC) on Sunday said its agents had neutralised a militant near the city of Ufa, who planned to carry out a terror attack.

“The criminal was neutralised in an exchange of fire. A gun and a ready-for-use improvised explosive device were found at the scene of the shootout. According to reports, the neutralised bandit intended to carry out a terrorist attack”, the NAC said.
There were no victims in the incident, it added.Doctor: Belly Fat Burning Tip Celebrities Don’t Want You to KnowHealth ReportsAds by Revcontent

РИА Новости@rianru

Опубликовано видео с места ликвидация боевика в Уфе, планировавшего теракт. На требование сложить оружие мужчина открыл огонь, после чего его нейтрализовали. При себе у него обнаружили пистолет и самодельное взрывное устройство https://ria.ru/20200322/1568973312.html …2310:27 AM – Mar 22, 2020Twitter Ads info and privacySee РИА Новости’s other Tweets

According to the NAC, the officers attempted to stop a car with the armed bandit on a highway in the suburbs of Ufa on Saturday at about 14:00 GMT. When demanded to lay down his arms and surrender to the authorities, the bandit opened fire.

On 20 March, the Russian Federal Security Service said it had stopped a secret cell of the Daesh* terrorist group that had collected some $26,000 for Daesh militants.

The special operation was carried out jointly with the financial watchdog in Crimea, Komi, and Rostov region.

Posted in Syria0 Comments

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